Google kills its Chromecast Audio dongle

With smart speakers becoming ubiquitous, something had to give.

If you've been thinking about whether to pick up a Chromecast Audio to make your audio setup a little smarter, you should probably make your mind up quickly. Google has confirmed it's discontinuing the device.

"Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio," a spokesperson told 9 to 5 Google. "We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We will continue to offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more."

The writing has been on the wall for some time, as Google has sold the device for $15 (down from $35) since Black Friday. The booming popularity of smart speakers really sounded the death knell for Chromecast Audio, in part because they too are often inexpensive -- Google is currently offering the Google Home Mini for $29, less than Chromecast Audio's initial price.

Plus, with voice assistants (such as Google Assistant) baked into smart speakers, you don't necessarily need to use your phone, tablet or computer to start playing something on them, unlike with Chromecast Audio. Also, as with that device, many smart speakers can connect to your existing audio setup, so Chromecast Audio's moment in the sun always seemed destined to be a short one.